1 January 2013

Luiz Zerbini, 'amor lugar comum'

The exhibition 'amor lugar comum' brings together nine works by Luiz Zerbini produced in the last decade. As a whole, the works demonstrate the intentionality of the artist's pictorial practice, his compositional strategies and his relationship with time. Resident in Rio de Janeiro for many years, the Zerbini participated in the historic exhibition 'Como Vai Você, Geração 80', in 1984, which included works by Leda Catunda, Jorge Guinle Filho (1947-87), Beatriz Milhazes, Cristina Canale, Daniel Senise, and Leonilson (1957-93). The exhibition held at the School of Visual Arts at Parque Lage, in Rio de Janeiro, helped define the return to painting in Brazil in the 1980s. Since then, the artist continues to dedicate himself to an experimental and profound pictorial practice that transcends trends and fashions, with the production of a significant set of works.

Zerbini said he was not interested in formal painting issues, but in creating “a social analysis of a scene” —a scene that speaks of people, places, architecture and time. In the struggle with the formal consequences of painting, the artist is concerned with the meaning and limitations of the expressive medium. As a result, he often deviates from painting to explore object creation, installation, video and collage. Together with artists Barrão and Sergio Mekler, Zerbini formed the multimedia group Chelpa Ferro, which has been working with objects, kinetics and sound for over 20 years.

As a cultural commentary, Zerbini's canvases invite the viewer to reflect on a syncopated reality - dense combinations of flora and fauna, geometry, debris, personal objects and mentions of experiences collapsed in a hybrid present. In High Definition (2010) and Mamão Manilha (2010), interrupted bands of color or a semi-pixelated section suggest a failure in the representation register, revealing the painting as mediated and imperfect data. With the use of metallized paint in Lago Quadrado (2010) and Pintura Velha (2013) Zerbini obtained an uncertain light, a glow coming from inside the canvas that contrasts with the representational nature of the other exhibited works. While each painting is an act of rational composition - with each element, color and gesture planned - the meaning is generated by the artist's process, a magic of execution coherent with the philosophical perception that fuels Luiz Zerbini's continuous practice.



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